The Lions scored touchdowns on a little more than 54 percent of their red zone trips last season, which was good for 17th in the league as they made their way to the postseason.
Improving that percentage would improve their chances of doing the same this season and their third-round pick in this year’s draft looks like he’ll have a role in any improvement. At 6’4″, wide receiver Kenny Golladay has the height needed to go up and get balls in the end zone and he spent Sunday’s practice doing that.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw the ball his way three times and Golladay caught all three, showing some of what led Chad Johnson to single him out for praise after a visit to Lions practice last week. Coach Jim Caldwell is also on the train.
“Every day he shows you a little something just in terms of his characteristic ability to catch the ball,” Caldwell said. “He’s long, obviously. He’s a good target. But he’s also got a real wide catching radius, so all over the field we can use him. “The other thing, oftentimes you’ll find guys that are long, that are long striders, that don’t get it going pretty quickly. But he can run. … The No. 1 thing that you got to have is speed, and he can run. So that in itself will set up a lot of other things. But I think you’ll see him get to the point too where he’s starting to kind of back guys in the corner with his height and ability to jump over the top and things of that nature.”
Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are back at wideout, but Anquan Boldin and his 67 catches have moved on. That leaves a big opening in the Lions offense and it looks like one that Golladay is going to get a chance to fill right from the start.